GEO/07 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

The aim of the course is to provide students with the basic theoretical knowledge necessary for understanding the nature of minerals, for their recognition and study; the course aims to provide the necessary concepts on the phenomena related to the formation and evolution of magmatic and metamorphic rocks and the criteria for their recognition and classification.

Course Structure

The course is delivered through lectures and classroom exercises. If necessary, the remote mode on the Teams platform is also foreseen.

Detailed Course Content

The first part is fundamental for the preliminary knowledge of endogenous lithogenetic processes, the
the next one includes the elements of Mineralogy and the third one concerns the Petrography of rocks
magmatic and metamorphic.

The first part is fundamental for the preliminary knowledge of endogenous lithogenetic processes, the next one includes the elements of mineralogy and the third one concerns the petrography of magmatic, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.

Contents: General characters on the structure and composition of the Earth. Rock cycle and petrogenetic processes. Rocks and geodynamic environments.

Definition of mineral. The crystalline state. Morphological crystallography: symmetry, symmetry elements and "Simple forms". Exercises in morphological crystallography on crystal models. Structural crystallography: From Hauy to the crystal lattice. The crystal lattice, the elementary cells. Crystalline groups and systems. Polymorphism. Crystal chemistry: The bonds in crystalline structures. Pauling's rules. Isomorphism. Solid solutions and graphical representation of binary and ternary mixtures. The genesis of minerals and their classification. The minerals of the rocks. The physical properties of minerals and their recognition.

Magmas and their chemical-physical characteristics. The igneous rocks. Structures and positions of plutonic, sub-volcanic and volcanic rocks. Mineralogical composition of igneous rocks. Nomenclature and main mineralogical and chemical classification criteria.

The metamorphic process: general characters and types of metamorphism. Control factors of metamorphism. The metamorphic rocks. The structures. Classification criteria and nomenclature. The most widespread metamorphic rocks and their main compositional characters. Metamorphic degree, the metamorphic facies.

The sedimentary process, main depositional environments. Sedimentary rocks classification.

Meso-scopic recognition of rock and mineral samples.

Textbook Information

- Klein C. & Philpotts A.R. "Mineralogia e petrografia" edizione italiana Ed. Geologia Zanichelli.


Esercitazioni e approfondimenti sulla pagina web del libro disponibili al seguente link: Klein, Philpotts – Mineralogia e petrografia (


Ulteriori testi per approfondimenti e consultazione:


- Morbidelli L. “Le rocce e i loro costituenti” Bardi Editore, Roma, 2005.

- Deer W.A., Howie R.A., Zussman. Introduzione ai minerali che costituiscono le rocce. Zanichelli, Bologna.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano